An early work by the revered playwright that caused a sensation in Houston, New York, and London. This is a raw, sprawling dramatization of real events at a Philadelphia prison in 1937. Convicts who led a hunger strike to protest conditions were locked in a scalding cell where four of them died. Eva, a woman looking for work during the Great Depression, takes on a secretarial job at a prison. During her tenure, she bears witness to the staff's harsh treatment of inmates, and watches as a number of prisoners try to overthrow their overseer and escape their conditions. Williams presents a rough, complex portrait of Depression-era imprisonment.
Not About Nightingales premiered at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX in June 1998 under the direction of Trevor Nunn.